HRD Minister Smriti Irani spoke at a conference organized by Hindu Education Board.

Taking a jibe at critics alleging saffronisation of education, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Monday said the country’s inherent strength in education, ancient concepts and values are hailed and applauded abroad but is described as “saffron” back in the country.

Wondering if India’s inherent strength should not be valued, Ms. Irani, who is accused of ‘saffronising education’, said even in the field of Mathematics there has been an accusation of saffronisation when India’s ancient method of maths is explored the world-over.

Speaking at a conference organised by Hindu Education Board, she spoke about the criticism faced by well- Mathematics professor of Princeton University Manjul Bhargava back home who confided learning the concept of maths through Sanskrit poems.

“…he is accused in television shows of saffronisation of mathematics. This is only possible in India that you have an ancient method of maths which is explored and applauded across the world, that becomes saffron back in India,” she said.

“Is everything Indian not to be valued? Is it possible in any country that we shy away from our own inherent strength… that we shy away from our own inherent heritage, our culture, our glorious history,” the minister said.

Referring to the controversy surrounding the yoga day celebration, she said, “I wonder whether all the 175 nations who supported us at the UN for celebrating the day were as saffron as we are.”

She said the new education policy, which would be ready by the year-end would emerge as one that helps in nation building.

“Education is also not limited to policy draft, or school or university. It defines the existence of human being, the society,” she said.

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